The Entrepreneur Excellence Program

As the world gradually has transcended into the 21st century, where the world is becoming shorter and smaller day by day, thanks to the innovations led by visionary minds, immediate names like Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Henry Schultz, Col. Sanders, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and the likes come to mind, there’s a whole lot of people out there in this world that have brilliant innovate ideas, ideas that are novel unique and have a superb chance of offering ease of use that is the common demand for consumers these days.

With the information age, knowledge is easily accessible and universities and training institutes and non profit organizations like TED across the world are trying to leverage newer methods of education, trying their level best to produce powerful competitive advantages and tremendous wealth for pioneering companies, my question at this point in time raises a very valid question. Is innovation everywhere? And the answer to this lies in the paragraph below.

There are two kinds of knowledge in this world. One is generalized, the other is specialized. The faculties of the great universities possess, in aggregate, practically every form of general knowledge known to civilization. They specialize in teaching knowledge, but do not specialize on the organization or use of the knowledge. Knowledge, unless organized and intelligently directed has been the source of confusion to billions of people on the planet that knowledge is power. Knowledge is only potential power, unless organized into definite plans of action, and directed to a definite end.

The “missing link” in all education systems known to civilization today, may be found in the failure of educational institutions to teach students HOW TO ORGANIZE AND USE KNOWLEDGE AFTER THEY ACQUIRE IT. For many students, graduating out of the university puts them on a job hunt, with little or no real world application of the knowledge, but are thrilled that they got through an interview and are working.

But I’m referring to a different class of people, those that are innovators and have ideas beaming in their minds about creating services and products born purely out of observation, yet but don’t know how to get their goals and ambitions into definite results. The persistent ones succeed but there’s a whole slew of people out there, who just give up on an idea, and meet failure straight in the eye.

The most common barriers these young innovators face are:-

  1. After I have been rejected by various institutions, I don’t think my business idea works. Should I stop asking for funding, keep searching for new investors, use or borrow money to fund the venture?
  2. What if I fail?
  3. Duh..I don’t know where to start?
  4. Lack of Entrepreneurship training
  5. Lack of business contacts / networking
  6. No real passion in spite of a promising idea
  7. Lack of experience in managing a venture
  8. Family to attend to / commitments that deprive an individual of his goals.
  9. Bureaucracy blocks
  10. Not the right time to start
  11. Too young to start a venture.

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What young aspiring entrepreneurs also need are:

  1. A real world opportunity, application of theory in practice with apprenticeship or building solutions themselves through focused groups.
  2. A distinctive entrepreneur course that offers them a significant advantage and motivation to pursue their dreams. Basically everything an entrepreneur needs to know.
  3. Subjects taught in the schools / universities are only theoretical. Exposure is needed through real world contacts and fund sources.
  4. Seminars where entrepreneurs come and speak and specialized classes on pitching to various entrepreneurs.
  5. Experiments that challenge the students with a project that will allow them to run a business and turn it around and profit from it. Carry out all the real world activities that you always do when starting with a new business.
  6. Entrepreneurship aligned with the real world
  7. Workshops that are more practical rather than focus on theory. The students need their minds challenged every moment to real world situations that will arm them with the skills to run a sizeable enterprise.
  8. A marketing subject with a group project would be a great exercise.
  9. Fundamentals of business from lecturers that have real world experience and not years of experience just teaching the course.

We do not intend to bring about a reform in the education system or even evolve it, but this will create a revolution in education. We need to move from an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model which is based on linearity and conformity and batching people to models of principals of agriculture. We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process, it’s like farming and create the conditions under which they begin to flourish.

My proposal is to start off with the world’s first entrepreneur excellence school where the environment, classes, trainings, professors and students alike come from the same belief that innovation, mixed with passion, persistence and determination to see the process through will bring about a revolution in the education field. The Entrepreneur Excellence school shall partner with the world’s best entrepreneurs as guest speakers, focus more on practical assignments and group based activities and impart real world knowledge that is so essential to the development of these young bright minds. We shall be holding seminars on a regular basis, where real world entrepreneurs share their experiences and annual events that will judge innovations that can be commercialized and funded by an independent jury of entrepreneurs and venture companies alike. We are about creating a movement in education in which people develop their own solution, but with external support based on a personalized curriculum. Today’s technologies combined with excellent teachers and mentors provide an extraordinary opportunity to revolutionize the education system.

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